Saturday, 24 December 2016

PASSION AND DEDICATION - Tribute to Late Oseah Philemon

By Sylvester Gawi :

It was in 2013, the ANGAU Memorial Hospital in Lae was crumbling and the media was playing a leading role in outlining the hospital's struggle in delivering health services.

I started working for PNGFM in Lae in December 2012 and the ANGAU issue was one of the first stories I have followed through from 2013 up to the redevelopment commitment from the Australian Government in 2014.

I met an elderly reporter at the ANGAU car park and shook hands with him as we walked in for a press conference hosted by the then ANGAU Hospital board. He asked me a few questions about myself as we walked through the doors to the conference room.

He was one of the senior journalists in Morobe who were taking the bull by it's horns and advocating for a better health facility for Morobeans.

He also played a vital role in writing about the changes happening in the country's industrial hub and his prospects of seeing his home (Lae) becoming the centre of business in PNG.

Late Oseah Philemon, widely known in the media fraternity as OP can be best described as a man who loved his profession and has a heart to transform the lives of Papua New Guineans through the power of his pen.

He told me about perseverance and how successful writers have influenced the changes in their societies. Success is built on passion and mainstream media is not as lucrative as the packages in public relations.

Sometimes I wonder a person of his caliber and expertise would have been working for major corporation or government entity, but he remained loyal to the mainstream media until his passing on Christmas Eve 2016. He became reputable and respected by ordinary people to those holding top positions in the government of being analytical of situations he write about..

He retired from the Post Courier and settled across the Huon Gulf at Labu vilage, but his influences remained in the media community in Lae. His children became our brothers and sisters and every reporter that has worked under him called him father.

I've known and worked with him for about a year before he retired, but his words of encouragement to young fellow reporters is one reason why I have been in the media industry up to today.

OP is one of several senior journalists in Papua New guinea who have encouraged aspiring reporters like me, who don't come through journalism school.

To his immediate families, relatives and friends he will always be treasured until the golden morning.


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